This blog is only six weeks young and I can’t help but feel that I’m already getting quite the penchant for writing about Spanish weather. And quite frankly it concerns me, because everybody knows that weather is all together a rather boring topic of conversation- something better left for impromptu awkward silences or endless inane chatter between grannies on buses, let alone something to blog about. But given that I am presently sat in my bedroom, wearing a hat, gloves, hoody and my snowboarding jacket with two mini-heaters blasting hot, musty air at me, I also can’t help but feel that weather over here is something that one can’t help but talk, or indeed blog about.
You’re probably wondering why I haven’t just switched the central heating on. Well, I could switch the central heating on, if my housemates weren’t so uncompromisingly against it. “El crísi’!, el crísi’!” (andaluz translation for “The crisis, the crisis”) they keep yelling at me- in other words, the bills are getting harder to pay and we can’t afford to turn the central heating on yet. Mind you, at least we actually have the luxury of central heating in our house- many Spanish homes simply don’t bother with it, their tenants preferring instead to pay cheaper rent and risk freezing themselves to death.
So whether you share my circumstances, you’re new here, or considering the move, wearing nearly all your clothes and/or rocking back and forth in your frozen desk-chair in a state of shock, fret not. For you have just stumbled across the first ever ‘how to survive the winter in Spain even though it probably isn’t as cold as winter back at home’ blog post! So take my numbed and quivering hand as I walk you through some nifty tips on fighting el frio…
One: Dress sensibly
Two: Cover the Floor
Buy a rug and pop it down next to your bed. The thought of peeling yourself away from beneath the duvet covers in the morning is an unpleasant one in any case, but during the winter months even conceiving the idea can be regarded as an achievement. If you don’t have a rug readily available nor the income to go splashing out on one, have your slippers at the ready.
Three: Drink and eat well
Common sense this one really. But when in Spain you’ll no doubt discover that certain luxuries that were once easily acquired are no longer so. Fortunately, there is Mercadona, and thankfully it offers us Brits what no other Spanish supermarket can: tea. And I mean proper, actual tea, as in the one you add milk to. Not that ghastly fusion stuff. You’ll only find PG Tips but it’s better than nothing, and when you’re sat caressing a mug of it, shivering under a blanket in your subzero casa, you’ll have never felt so grateful.
Food-wise, I’ve often found that there is nothing more doctoring than a rich, delicious and mightily healthy bowl of ‘pisto’ to warm your entrails.
Four: Spoon a housemate
Why not? You’ll no doubt already know from that very first, clumsy double-cheek kiss greeting that the Spanish are a plainly uninhibited nation when it comes to bodily contact, so stick the telly on, and snuggle up. Body warmth is of the utmost importance and what better way is there to share some? Boys, just bear in mind potentially awkward consequences if you’re housemate is super hot. Girls- don’t insist on being big spoon for extra warmth, it’s extremely emasculating and we don’t like it.
Five: Steal someone else’s heat
As in go to someone else’s house where there is central heating and stay as long as possible. If you don’t have any friends with central heating, or if you simply don’t have any friends, then head to your nearest café or cozy restaurant. Not that I’m encouraging stinginess but it probably costs less for a few rounds of coffee than it does for just 15 minutes of your mini-heater. Take a book and find a quiet corner.
Six: Jump around!
Jump up jump up and get down. Jump, jump, jump, jump… etc.
Seven: Utilize sunlight
Another one that should really go without saying- leave your curtains open during the day and let in all that lovely sunlight. It may get cold in Spain (it does, honestly!) but we can at least rely on there being bright blue skies every day. Those golden rays will provide pockets of magnified toastiness for respite from the rest of your chilly living room. Shut them before bed though, or you’ll shiver yourself silly.
Eight: Sex it up
Presuming of course that you have another willing participant, this cold-combatting tactic is, needless to say, the most enjoyable. I won’t bother with all the scientific spiel- it’ll hardly be a turn-on for your other half if you attribute the reason for shagging to a statistically proven blood circulation increase of 30% etc. If you’re especially fond of bonking (first time I’ve ever used that word, by the way) then click here for some extra raunchy tips to keep yourselves pleasantly heated. However, click here, to learn about what not to do.
Nine: Microwave your socks
This is a neat, crafty little trick I picked up back at University, and never fails to provoke a long, gratifying sigh. Stick a cup of water in there as well to add some moisture and reduce the risk of your socks catching fire.
Ten: Sod it and get drunk
Sometimes the only effective measure in such drastic circumstances is to get suitably and unabashedly sloshed. Stick to spirits or wine though (cheap Supersol wine or Mercadona rum are best)- beer will only make matters worse. And don’t inadvertently turn yourself into an alcoholic. This will not solve any of your problems.
Got any more tips? Let’s hear them…